Judgment No. 1395
1. THE ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR-GENERAL'S DECISION OF 22 DECEMBER 1993 IS QUASHED.
2. THE LABORATORY SHALL REINSTATE THE COMPLAINANT AS FROM THE DATE OF TERMINATION AND ON THE SAME TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
3. IT SHALL PAY HER 10,000 GERMAN MARKS IN DAMAGES FOR MORAL INJURY.
4. IT SHALL PAY HER 8,000 MARKS IN COSTS.
The complainant was dismissed under Staff Rule 2.6.01 which says that "appointments shall terminate on account of [...] g) dismissal for specified reasons of unsuitability." The Tribunal holds that this means, "first that the reasons must be 'specified' in some form that enables the staff member to understand them clearly and, secondly, that the statement of them must be prior to the actual dismissal. It is, after all, a general principle of law that the staff member must be afforded a proper opportunity, again prior to dismissal, to answer any allegations of unsuitability."
Organization rules reference: EMBL'S STAFF RULE 2.6.01
duty to substantiate decision; general principle; right to reply; due process; organisation's duties; staff regulations and rules; reinstatement; termination of employment; unsatisfactory service; flaw
The complainant was dismissed on grounds of unsuitability for work without having had a chance to answer the charges against her. The Tribunal orders her reinstatement and observes that she is also "entitled to an award of damages for moral injury in view of her seniority and her humiliation by being told that she 'need not be present in the laboratory until the end of [her] contract'."
moral injury; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; seniority; reinstatement; termination of employment; unsatisfactory service